Article 33: Varsity Field Repairs and Upgrades

 Varsity Field Repairs and Upgrades

$ 2,000,000

At this spring’s Town Meeting, which begins on May 11, 2009, the School Committee is presenting an article requesting funding for the rehab of Varsity Field at Burlington High School.  Included in the project will be new bleachers to replace the old bleachers which are a safety hazard and do not meet current code; a new facility to house the snack bar, equipment storage and indoor bathrooms: and installation of a Turf Field in place of the existing grass field.   The total cost of this project is estimated to be about $2 million and it will be paid for through a capital bond that the Town will issue to address various capital projects that appear on the Town’s ten year capital plan.

When completed the Turf Field will be available to all youth leagues including soccer, lacrosse, and Pop Warner football.  It will go a long way to alleviating the stress on our playing fields, which will be exacerbated over the next several years as the Memorial School fields and the Mitre fields come off line.    A Turf Field is an artificial surface that can be used in inclement weather without ruining the playing surface.  Current technology makes the fields very resilient and also much safer than the old, astro turf fields. The annual maintenance cost for a Turf Field is substantially less than the cost to maintain a grass field, and the expected life of a Turf Field is 15 years, after which some rehab work is required.    I’m sure that many of you have seen these fields in our neighboring towns and you will agree it would be an important and useful addition to Burlington’s athletic facilities. It will also give many of our younger athletes an opportunity to play on Varsity Field in a stadium-like atmosphere which is very exciting for them.

This is a bonding issue, which means that it will require a positive vote from 2/3 of the town meeting members present on the night that the article is presented.   It would be very helpful if the leaders of the various youth sports groups, and parents of children who participate in those programs, contact their town meeting members and encourage them to support this request.   There are some town meeting members who might feel that, given the state of the economy, this is not the time to be doing a project of this nature however the fact is that this is actually an ideal time to be going forwarded with a bonded project – interest rates are at an all time low and contractors are hungry for work so bids are coming in low.  If we wait a few years for the economy to improve we will pay a higher price for the project and we will pay a higher interest rate on the bond, thus the Town will pay substantially more for the project over the life of the bond.

A video tour of the existing facility with Coach Lev:

The preliminary budget break-down is as follows:

Field Renovations – $1,000,000

Bleachers – $540,000

Bathrooms and Lighting – $200,000

Design – $ 174,000

Contingency – $86,000

Total – $2,000,000

Thank you very much and if there are any questions regarding any of the above please do not hesitate to contact any of the school committee members.This is a worthwhile investment in Burlington’s infrastructure and facilities and it will enhance the experience of the participants in youth sports for years to come.   Your support is crucial and any assistance that you can offer to help this article pass will be greatly appreciated.

Very Truly Yours,

The Burlington School Committee

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